A Different Kind of Family Portrait

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far away – or at least as far away as South Florida – Chris and I thought we might never have a baby. After his chemotherapy, we’d been told, there was a 50% chance that he would remain sterile. We had prepared for the possibility by using a sperm bank, but as a teacher and a medical student we knew that we wouldn’t be able to afford assisted reproduction procedures for a number of years. Then one day, the happy surprise: we were pregnant! On our own! It was a miracle! The pregnancy only survived a few weeks, and the loss was devastating – except for the silver lining of learning that pregnancy was possible.

Almost a year later, we were surprised again to find out we were pregnant; and a few days later I miscarried again. The loss isn’t necessarily easier the second time, but at least I knew what to expect. I was mentally prepared for several months of grieving and then finally feeling ready to try again –

but Jonas came along the very next month. The first trimester of my pregnancy with him was blessedly easy; I was so thankful that everything was going right.

When Jonas was 9 months old, we got pregnant again! I remember the first few weeks being shocked. Worried – how could I handle two babies 17 months apart? Overwhelmed. And then I started to dream about brothers, close as thieves. I saw two boys toddling through my house. I even had a dream about the new baby’s name. But when I was 11 weeks pregnant, I started miscarrying. It was my most physically complicated miscarriage (because I was further along) and it was the most emotionally draining, too.

My next pregnancy was Susannah’s, and it was another blessedly easy one. Even though I puked my guts out almost daily for the first 18 weeks, I was kind of happy to do it – it was reassuring that everything was okay in there.

And this January, I found out I was pregnant for the sixth time. Abigail is probably our last baby (at least, Chris says he feels “done.”)

I don’t hide the fact that we have lost babies, but I don’t talk about it all the time either. I am sure he’s overheard me mention it, but I haven’t sat down to explain it yet. I didn’t want Jonas to be worried throughout my pregnancy with Abigail that something would happen to her, for instance.

So when Jonas drew this picture this morning, I found it Very Interesting that he drew a gift box for Mom & Dad… with six little people inside. 😉

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Meet the author

Michelle, a white woman with brown hair, faces the camera with a smile. She wears glasses with clear frames and a shirt that says, "Those Goals Look Good On You."


I write about my faith, family, organization, and adventures in fiction writing. My blog is where I share a glimpse of my life, and I hope you’ll find the thoughts here encouraging!






2 thoughts on “A Different Kind of Family Portrait”

  1. Maybe he does “know” about the siblings that he’s never had the chance to meet. We do believe that a baby is a person from the moment of conception and we also believe that even though our physical body dies, the soul/spirit live on. There will be a day when we have a grand family reunion and we will understand why things happened the way they did.

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“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Ephesians 2:8-9

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